How to grow Sorrel?

  • Latin Family: Polygonaceae
  • Latin Genus: Rumex
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Growing Type: Perennial

Sorrel is cultivated as a perennial garden herb or pot herb (leaf vegetable) that is a must have, especially in large quantities. They have a flavor similar in sourness to grape skins.


Sorrel History

The plant is native to Europe and Asia, and has become highly naturalized in Northern America. It's name comes from the French word surele, which is derived from the word ser meaning "sour." It's lemony-flavor made it popular in many countries to flavor soups.

Soil Preference

  • PH (min/max): 5.0 - 7.0
  • PH Ideal (min/max): 5.5 - 6.8

Sorrel prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil that has a mildly acidic pH.

How to care for Sorrel?

Sorrel is very problem free and requires almost no care. Be sure to keep garden beds weed-free. It usually self-sows itself and should be grown in it's own bed separated from annuals.


Sorrel will tolerate some drought, but for maximum production keep the soil evenly moist.


Like any green leafy vegetable, it will grow better with a good supply of nitrogen. However, fertilizing isn't necessary because it will grow in almost any soil.


Seed Viability: 2 - 3 years

Germination Percentage: 85.0

Sorrel plants are dioecious, which means plants are either male or female and you need both to produce seed because females aren't self fertile. They are pollinated by the wind. If female plants are pollinated they produce seed readily and often self sow (sometimes becoming a weed).


Sun: min. 6 hours daily

Sorrel does best in full sun, although it will tolerate some shade.

Conditions:Cold, Cool, Warm

Season:Short Season, Long Season


Dry sorrel in dark, cool place. Store in an airtight jar in the pantry.

Storage Req: Drying
Storage Temp: 50-70°F
Storage Length: 1-360 days

Use Sorrel fresh. It will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.

Storage Req: Refrigerator
Storage Temp: 35-40°F
Storage Length: 7-14 days

Similar to Spinach, you can freeze Sorrel. It's best if pureed and frozen.

Storage Req: Freezer
Storage Temp: 32°F
Storage Length: 1-180 days


Sorrel Types

  • Bloody Dock
  • Red veins contrasting green leaves makes this garden perennial a wonderful splash of color. Bloody Dock is not as lemony-flavored as Garden Sorrel.

  • Garden Sorrel
  • Garden sorrel grows about 3' tall and is great used fresh in salads.


  • Aphids
  • Leafhoppers
  • Leafminers
  • Slugs and snails
  • Deer

What's Smart Gardener ?

The easiest way to plan, grow and harvest your own food....

It's an online vegetable garden planner for anyone who wants homegrown, healthy and tasty food to be part of their lifestyle...while having a busy life.

Find out more...

Join Now

Try it out!
Explore Maggies Garden...

Sample garden plan image

Take a look at Maggies Smart Garden, its vegetable garden Layout, Plants in her Garden, Weekly To Dos and her Garden Journal.

Sage Sage Sorrel Sorrel Banana Banana Winter Savory Winter Savory Lemongrass Lemongrass Thyme Thyme Pawpaw Pawpaw Marjoram Marjoram Fennel Fennel Catnip Catnip